* Ask your friends and associates for their recommendations or consult local consumer groups.
* Arrange for alternate transportation in advance so you will not feel forced to choose a shop based solely on location.
* Look for a neat, well-organized facility with modern equipment and vehicles in the parking lot that are equal in value to your own.
* Look for a courteous staff. The service consultant should be willing to answer all of your questions.
* Ask about the shop's policies regarding estimated repair costs, diagnostic fees, guarantees and acceptable methods of payment.
* Ask if the repair facility usually handles your type of repair work.
* Look for signs of professionalism in the customer service area such as civic, community or customer service awards.
* Look for evidence of qualified technicians such as trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced courses and ASE certification.
Approximately 400,000 professionals hold current ASE credentials. They can be found at independent garages, dealerships, franchised outlets, collision shops and various other types of repair facilities.
The certified technicians wear blue and white ASE insignia or pins. Their employers often display their technicians' ASE credentials in the customer service area and post the ASE sign on the premises.
Visit www.ase.com for more information about ASE-certified professionals, car-care tips and other automotive information.